'Tsotsobe not originally part of tour squad'

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South Africa coach Russell Domingo has admitted that fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe was not originally meant to go on the tour to Sri Lanka, and that there were concerns over the portly paceman's fitness and work ethic.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo has admitted that fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe was not originally meant to go on the tour to Sri Lanka, and that there were concerns over the portly paceman's fitness and work ethic.

A few months ago Lance Klusener, who was Tsotsobe's coach at the Dolphins, lambasted the bowler for being lazy and unfit, and it seems Domingo and company had been of the same mind, but took the player to Sri Lanka anyway.

Tsotsobe showed flashes of his talent, especially during an ODI in Pallekele where he took four wickets, but was often all over the pitch map and went for a good few runs, both in the ODIs and T20s. His fielding also left much to be desired.

But Domingo said the bowler worked hard over the course of the tour, and the threat of not being included seemed to inspire a slight attitude adjustment, even though there was still 'some way to go'.

Domingo said upon returning to SA: "I would like to state categorically and very honestly that Tsotsobe wasn't included in the fifteen to go to Sri Lanka. I had massive concerns about his fitness, his form and possibly his work ethic at that stage.

"Tsotsobe was very comfortable staying behind, working at the high performance centre, and getting himself back into condition because I firmly believe Tsotsobe is a massive asset in our one-day side.

"He is one of the best bowlers in the world. We need a fit, firing Lonwabo Tsotsobe. It might not be a coincidence that when some of his form has dipped a little bit, the team's bowling as a whole dipped a little bit because he is such an important bowler for us.

"After canvassing some opinions and chatting to him, we decided to take him with [us] and work on his fitness in the first two or three weeks to try and get him to a position where he could perform to his maximum.

"He worked really hard in those first two or three weeks and I was very pleased and encouraged with what I saw. And that hard work was proved in his first performance in Pallekele, where he probably won the game for us.

"We've still got some way to go. I am a big fan of his. He offers a lot to the side in terms of his skills with the new ball, and his skills when he bowls cutters.

"Maybe it was a good thing that he wasn't included to make him realise he also needs to pull up his socks to a certain degree. And we also need to give him as much opportunity to develop for us, because he is a gun bowler in this format."

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